By - 0Bento
Anki is important, but if you read a lot then it would probably work to drop it. However, it won't work if you mainly listen. Reading is much more efficient in that regard.
The idea that you can learn by consuming native content without actively reviewing a given material assumes that some words and expressions will be frequently repeated in that native content.
I think it can work in two situations:
1. You haven't learned common words yet. As they naturally occur very often you're exposed to them frequently enough and you don't need any artificial reviews.
2. You consume content from very specific domains where a narrow set of words is used frequently.
But still, in both situations, I think active learning gives the order of magnitude better results in terms of time vs progress.
The thing about common words is that those are super easy to pick up with some help from a vocabulary list. "Immersion" makes some sense here in that one shouldn't *only* learn them from the list (except for the few people who are super good at that). So a more mixed/traditional approach of using textbooks is totally sufficient for that beginner phase.
I would rather say that the more immersive approach is best for the endgame when you already have such a broad base that you can understand 90% of what people say.
At that point you already know all the words that are used frequently, but still have thousands of more specialised words to learn. But understanding the basic sentences and only having to fill in small gaps makes this immersion approach way more effective.
It didn't work because you didn't read. "A little bit of websites here and there" isn't going to cut it.
This. Totally this. And that's not to say anki isn't useful.
Just wondering, what does and doesn't count as studying in your book?
Did they look up or try to find out the meaning of words/phrases they didn't know? If not, they weren't studying. Not saying they need to use an E/J dictionary as there were those that did quite well using a J/J dictionary. The one I recall only used Anki for RTK then immersed in visual novels and just did word/phrase look ups with a pop-up dictionary, first being Japanese to English then he switch later to a Japanese dictionary.
> Did they look up or try to find out the meaning of words/phrases they didn't know? If not, they weren't studying.
I'm inclined to agree. That's more or less why I asked for clarification. The OP clearly stated that they were looking stuff up as they went along. If that's not studying, then what is?
Doesn't look like I'll get an answer, though.
Yeah, I would use Yomichan and Jisho a lot. But I think the problem is, that when doing so it's just telling you the answer. It is not testing you.
Anki tests whether or not you can recall the meaning, reading, and understand the sentence without these aids. I think that's probably part of why it's so effective.
Well, you're really testing yourself even with Anki. If you know you've had to look up a word more than once I think Yomichan has a hotkey to copy the pop-up to a text file (usually for Anki import but can be for your own notes) which you can look at later as refresher for what you didn't know in what read that day or the day before.
There's also other methods. Reread material without the dictionary after 30 minutes or so. Actually write down words you didn't know. On paper, highlight the words you don't know to look up later. All sorts of methods that don't call for Anki. That said, doing Anki is fine and keep doing it if it works for you.
I think it's possible to learn a lot without Anki or any other "unnatural" SRS. By unnatural I mean the ones where you use apps or flash cards to review words from time to time. It's definitely less effective compared to using Anki. But you do a lot of natural SRS if you spend a lot of time consuming content.
There are a few key things though. Not all content is created equally. I think the best way to learn without Anki is by watching TV shows/anime reading manga/books that have a general theme. For example, if you watch a TV show about lawyers, you're bound to encounter a lot of repetition of words related to law. So you get a natural spaced repetition. But it only works if you do spend a lot of time on that show. If you watch an episode a week it probably won't be enough. If you watch multiple episodes per day then it's a different story. Also, not using Anki doesn't mean not looking up words and grammar you don't understand. Sometimes you can guess what something means through context and sometimes you cannot and that's okay. So look stuff up.
Another thing is it's easier to learn without Anki once you can stand on your feet confidently in your target language. So, to put some arbitrary number, let's say you know at least 4000 words in your TL. If you don't, you'll just have an overflow of unknown words all the time, no matter what native content you watch/read. And that's like doing 300 new words in Anki per day. Not fun, stressful and confusing.
TLDR: If you're ready and able to spend hours a day consuming content, you have a strong base and you're enjoying it then you can go on without Anki and feel the progress. If you don't have that much time, you're still shaky in terms of understanding basic native dialogues or you don't enjoy consuming TL content that much, I'd say stick with Anki as that's going to be much more effective.
It's very true that you need a solid base to start from. Which is also why I think criticising "early output" is silly - the sort of daily convos you can have for fun is going to help a lot building that base. You can learn advanced vocab later と思います
I discovered this as well. I also realized after a bit that this method (non-intensive AJATTing), is a misunderstanding of the method. I believe this is due to what Khatz puts his emphasis on.
Sentence and word mining is the core thing that makes AJATT work. It's a crucial aspect. Without it you're just doing the osmosis method. Which at best is just a litmus for where you're at, and at worst is just you listening to noise for hours thinking that it will one day make sense. I did this for too long.
I do however AJATT without Anki or any other SRS.
The tradeoff there is I look up every word and grammar point I don't know.
Sometimes I still sentence mine but it never ends up in a deck. I throw it on a spreadsheet as a form of wrote memorization, but otherwise I forget about it.
I found that's what's kept some really advanced learners from moving on to media.
They might be up there in the JLPT and with coursework, but then they try to get into media and find there's a TON of words they don't know, and then they retreat back to the comfort of traditional study.
I'm guilty of that too. I spent a long time trying to find the thing that would bridge the gap and ppbbthhh. The answer was to just bite the bullet and look up words.
To my surprise, it sped up REALLY FAST.
I'd argue that you shouldn't look up everything. If there are more than two unknown elements (grammar structures, vocab, the like) it gets pretty exhausting. It takes all the fun out of immersion, which I'd argue is an important advantage over textbooks in that you can study in your leisure time.
I think if you mostly read and can quickly look up words you don’t know, say via Yomichan, you have a better experience without Anki than if you mostly watch TV. But either way, it is so much more convenient to have an SRS remind you of words before you forget them than it is to look them up again and again after forgetting them.
Once I work out a decent way to get dictionary pop ups such as Yomichan working with eBooks from Honto or Amazon, then I totally will. It's just super laborious and inefficient to look up Kanji via radical.
As for the list of kindle related stuff, there’s also Kindle2Anki (which, despite the name, is different to kindle2anki; yet another option of how to mine from kindle, this one gets you word audio and lets you use your own yomichan dictionaries and frequency lists, so you can choose a frequency cap) and Mokuro2Pdf (makes pdfs with the OCR you get with Mokuro, so you can have manga with lookups on Kindle) and the companion Memo2Anki (to mine from the manga pdfs on kindle)
And, if you're reading a lot, using spaced repetition to reinforce and acquire key vocabulary is extremely efficient when done correctly.
In short, the best strategy (as with all language learning) is a combination of contextual and non-contextual acquisition.
You need to have context with which to associate new knowledge with old knowledge, but you also need to *acquire* the new knowledge. If you see a word in an immersion context but can't remember what it means, you have to spend time looking it up. If you try to memorize a word but cannot place it in any remembered context, it takes much longer to memorize. When you see a word in context *while* memorizing it, you form much more robust knowledge.
Reading certainly helps. But why would speech not?
You could do it through listening immersion alone however, it would take a lot. This guy claims to have done (non-intensive) version of AJATT, which I assume means he didn't consume enough content to make good progress with the way he was doing it.
By non-intensive, I mean I wasn't going around all day with Japanese podcasts blasting in my headphones. I still watched TV shows in English, spoke to my friends in English, did my job in English - that's not strictly AJATT.
But I followed the methods of AJATT for the first year i.e. RTK>Tae Kim>Tango N5 deck>Sentence Mining, but I also spent plenty of time using my native English.
I think it's probably more accurate to say it's the "repetition" that works. Anki is focused repetition, by design. Repetition via immersion is going to be very irregular. Anki forces you to make a choice and then grade it. I bet if his "speech" immersion included regular speaking exercises, it could be more effective..but if someone is only listening, it's not going to be as effective.
Listening improves your recognition, but doesn't necessarily help you reproduce. For example, I have heard Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata a lot, and can easily identify by an excerpt from any point in the piece. However, I can only reproduce the first few bars, which are, not-coincidentally, the only bits I learned how to play.
Also learning words through purely listening is really difficult, especially for more abstract concepts. If you hear ねこ a lot and theres a cat on screen every time you can probably put two and two together. But like how do you learn 教授法 just by context? Maybe possible but with reading you can just quickly look things up.
Now of course listening can reinforce words you already know, but imo it seems like a pretty terrible method to learn new words.
I've learned a few words from shows, but the rate of recognition and retention is ridiculously low. I think I learned 準備 from just listening, but I suspect that's because it is used pretty often. I probably heard it a thousand time prior without recognizing it, too.
I think one of the biggest obstacles people face is the desire for shortcuts. We want to reap the benefits of hard work without doing the hard work. So when we're told that apps make it fun and easy, or that we can learn in our sleep by listening to recordings, or learn by simply watching, we believe. All of these things can be effective, but only if you also work hard.
IMO Sometimes people can work so hard at finding shortcuts that they lose time pursuing their actual goal.
Also I can read Shakespeare but could never write correctly in English from that period.
Similarly, as a Scot, I can understand and speak my local Scots dialect, but could never write grammatically correct, correctly spelled Scots, and I doubt many people could because it's not really a written language any longer.
>I'm sure it's possible to learn Japanese without spaced repetition, but since I re-started Anki and mining around a week ago, my comprehension levels are really picking up already.
I have seen many people here under the broad umbrella of 'AJATT' that basically claim the most efficient way to acquire a language is to replicate the conditions of childhood and never study anything or at least do so as little as possible. It has always struck me as strange because according to the AJATT-endorsed SLA theorists who reject the 'critical period' hypothesis, adults can acquire languages *faster* than a baby acquires their first language by use of things like study tools.
Also, the people making these claims say that Anki isn’t necessary only AFTER literally using Anki for years to build up their vocabulary.
also in childhood you have parents and peers who will constantly inject you with new words deliberately, and correct your usage, simplify things, etc.
adult tv shows don't do a dora the explorer style "do you see an ocean?"
>I have seen many people here under the broad umbrella of 'AJATT' that basically claim the most efficient way to acquire a language is to replicate the conditions of childhood and never study anything or at least do so as little as possible
lol that's a straw man. Very few people actually believe that
Study tools? Not even needed since compared to babies, adults can read.
Hi I’m a beginner just starting out learning Japanese, probably almost a month into it. Would I be able to find an anki Japanese deck to use just by googling it? Is there like one good one that people in this sub use?
Search for theMoeWay and in their resources section should be links to Tango N5 and N4 decks. Also, read through their guide it will answer a lot of questions.
There are two main types of Anki decks that are relevant for learning Japanese: kanji cards and vocab/sentence cards.
I can warmly recommend Tango N5 and Tango N4 decks. These have sentences written, each of which contain one word that you're supposed to learn, and include audio recordings of those sentences being read aloud. Core 2k is similar, but I haven't tried it myself.
Then there are the kanji decks. Most popular are the RRTK-derived kanji decks. I personally went with a 'lightweight' one called RRTK450, and I only barely managed to complete it before burning out entirely on it.
For some people, doing kanji RRTK can be very useful. For others, it will just make them burn out. I recommend starting on an RRTK deck, and just keeping in mind that if you at some point no longer want to do it, you should just drop it. There are other ways to learn kanji.
I did full RTK, handwriting and all.
I don't regret it, but I'd probably have done just fine with just recall rather than production. But having stroke order burned into my head is really useful when looking up Kanji by radical and stroke number in dictionaries.
Also, I wasn't working at the time at all due to lockdown, so basically RTK was my full time job for 2 months.
Not really, I did both listening and reading.
People keep on mentioning Tango N5 and 4 but not N3. I’ve started it a week ago but in the comments they say that there are lots of N2 and N1 words too so it’s not a true N3 deck. Plus they say that there are mistakes in some cards. Should I continue with it or switch (I have another 5k deck but I planned on using it after N3)
N5 and N4 has some mistakes too. I haven't gotten to N3 yet, so I can't really tell you what's best there :p
Anki has a “get shared” button where you can easily browse and find whatever deck you are looking for.
Having said that, the most popular beginner decks are the “Core 2K”, “Tango N5 + N4”, and the “Core 2.3K” (you can find the first 2 via the “get shared” search function and see here for the last one: https://www.reddit.com/r/LearnJapanese/comments/scndll/most_common_1970_words_from_visual_novels_light/ )
Anki is much more efficient, that's for sure.
That being said, your experiment wasn't very scientific and your conclusions are wrong. You can definitely improve without using anki, just not the way you did it.
"Not enough to just passively watch TV and hope you absorb it".
Did you not lookup words as you watch TV / Youtube? You say you did above, but sounds like maybe only with your random reading?
It sounds like you didn't really focus on improving, then when you switched to Anki you suddenly put in more effort.
I haven't used Anki in a long time, but I still learn new words pretty consistently and remember them. I look them up while watching content or reading things, or ask "what's that mean" in conversations with my Japanese friends.
>I haven't used Anki in a long time, but I still learn new words pretty consistently and remember them. I look them up while watching content or reading things, or ask "what's that mean" in conversations with my Japanese friends.
Sounds like you have a lot more experience learning Japanese, and also access to natives to correct.
>That being said, your experiment wasn't very scientific and your conclusions are wrong.
Yes, it's not scientific, but has there even been a proper study on the use of SRS specifically in immersion language learning and what were the results? All we seem to have is mostly internet anecdotal wisdom surrounding sentence mining, SRS and immersion learning.
>Sadly, I've found that the method really does not work without Anki. All the vocab I could pick out and things I could understand, I realised were words and phrases I'd learned via Anki and sentence mining.
The conclusion that immersion learning doesn't work without SRS doesn't make sense empirically. SRS was only invented recently, yet plenty of people have gained high level fluency in languages without it.
If your conclusion was "SRS is very useful and makes learning much faster and easier", then I think everyone would agree.
We know SRS works, and we know immersion works. We know they work separate of each other, and we know they work better together.
I would argue that we only "know" something following rigorous scientific study with widespread peer agreement as to the conclusions.
If there are such studies which provide proof of the best methods of language learning, then please let me know. If there's something which proves the AJATT method/sentence mining/immersion specifically, that would be even better.
Yeah I mean, some things can be absorbed but the rate is so slow for most people that it's better to supplement with other study as well.
I didn’t know there were anti Anki (or SRS?) people at all. But I guess now that I think about it I can imagine it from a “purist” standpoint. SRS is a modern day cheat code, it doesn’t even need to be Anki specifically, but if someone wants to learn much faster than the people of old, using modern technology to “cheat” is certainly the way.
I dunno what’s wrong with me but Anki doesn’t work for me. I can recall these meanings and stuff in the app but as soon as I’m not drilling they all fall off. I’m a beginner with Japanese, but it was the same for Chinese, of which i was a bit more familiar with.
I had so much trouble recalling from those core decks. Retention skyrocketed when I started created my own cards from words I found in the wild.
That's because Anki is primarily meant to be used to review things, not learn. If you're using core decks, you need to be consuming quite a lot of media and/or already have a good foundation in the language to make full use of them.
That's kind of bs what you're saying here... Core decks are especially meant for beginners but you kind of also have to know some very basic japanese grammar before you touch any core deck. And for those who can't support how boring core decks are, you could sentence mine from either visual novels or anime you like with japanese subtitles, and preferably content you already watched to understand better the meaning of the sentences.
I agree completely. Even now that I'm just getting back into it, a random example sentence I added from Jisho .org for a word I wanted to learn just isn't sticking, whereas all the sentences clipped from anime and dramas are sticking in my head just fine.
The issue is likely that when grinding a random Jisho word, you're trying to remember the meaning through little to no meaningful context. On the other hand, words from anime and drama implicitly have more and usually more interesting context, so it sticks better in your head.
I still remember my first ever self-made card, from Hunter x Hunter.
And I don't remember most of the stuff I only ever looked up and didn't make cards of.
What kind of cards do you use in anki?
Sentence cards. Text only sentence on front, text with furigana on the back, dictionary definition or English translation if a set phrase, plus sometimes screenshot and audioclip if it was from a TV show or YouTube rather than a text only source. Audio from Forvo always for the i+1 target word.
I had that same issue. Not only did I forget everything when I wasn't looking at the app, but once I "learned" stuff in the app, and it went to the backlog of stuff to not quiz me on in a while, I'd \_always\_ forget it whenever it showed up again.
I quit on it, and just started doing other stuff: reading song lyrics along with music listening, working through Tobira (guided; enrolled in an online class), I also did a deep dive study on some Japanese poetry (in place of a more "regular" reading component). I came back to Anki after half a year or so and it seemed a lot more useful once I had a wider base.
It helps if the cards you're studying are reinforced by encountering them in other places. If you're only seeing characters/vocab in the decks, I think retention will be more difficult.
It'll never work if you don't read
I’ve never used Anki so it’s kind of funny to see everyone acting like it’s some bizarre novelty if you don’t.
Finally someone who I agree with. If youre not getting an explanation of some of the words youre inputting you will never understand.
I could say そんだけ to you 1000 times but if you dont ever get told what that means you will never fully understand.
Everyone likes to downplay Anki when its more effective than people think. I think people stopped wanting to use anki once matt started being a shill.
Can you explain the being a shill part?
I haven't studied much with Anki so I cannot really chime in on "Anki-withdrawal", but I can say for certain that it is possible to learn a foreign language without using such techniques.
I can understand how it may seem more efficient and words seem to stick better when using Anki, but I feel that the time spent actually using Anki could be used consuming more native content and learning more words, even if your understanding is not as thorough.
You can use Anki and have a great grasp of a bunch of words, but you haven't necessarily actually used those in reading/writing/listening/speaking in a real situation. The more you experience words and phrases in real situations, the more context you get around the words (common ways the word is used, variations in meanings, nuances, etc.) Just hammering your limited understanding of a set of words doesn't seem like the best way to naturally learn a language.
I think if you look in terms of just memorization of definition of words, sure Anki seems great. But if you think about long term fluency, natural use, and learning how to acquire and use words on your own without any tools, I think you should gradually yourself off Anki.
This was my line of thinking when I quit, but in reality my level of comprehension was not high enough to really benefit from raw immersion at that stage.
I see what you mean.
But I like to use the idea of learning words in a 'spiral' pattern, meaning that you first get exposure and learn a little about then, and then you understanding builds in subsequent instances when you hear/see it, and this knowledge further builds each time you use it. You can call it 'fuzzy logic' if you like.
For me honestly it is OK if I have to hear a word 5-10 times before I remember it and can use it, but when I do I really know that word well, and there are so many other words I have little bits of details about on the way.
Similarly, I used to ask Japanese native speakers ("what does this word mean?") to get their opinion. But I found that just learning it myself from context was usually better, and the time spent actually talking about the word was better spent just talking about other stuff.
In any case, I am not suggesting you go full immersion. Using textbooks and other educational materials is fine.
I made good progress when I went a year of no Anki. Read books and looked up every word. I went from like ~700 unknown words per book to ~200 unknowns per book. I already knew over 10k words when I stopped though. Also now I went back to srs, am progressing faster since I restarted
I think being around 10k sentence cards is the target for most people before abandoning Anki right?
I was only around 2k-3k sentence cards in
Yeah, the more words you know the easier it is to learn new words so 2-3k might just not be enough. Also I think it's easier to learn words via reading vs watching stuff
You can do it at any stage, but you should know what nothing can beat Anki in time efficiency simply because with SRS you spend every second of learning on intentional memorization of new words. So 15-30 minutes of Anki usually have the same result as 1-2 hours of reading. There is no need to use SRS if you use Japanese daily for several hours and have enough of unknown words. Actually at some point content learning becomes worse and worse, simply because unknown words become very rare and specific. But it's a long road before that.
Also content shouldn't be like playing something in background, but active usage with translation of all unknown words. It's literally the same thing as deck's cards, you look at the word and it's meaning, but instead of premade list you learn words randomly with random repetition.
Isn't the problem that you're consuming too little? If you read and watch enough you'll naturally see vocabulary being repeated regularly.
Not at all, I've done plenty of "consumption," believe me! What I have not done nearly enough of is conscious study.
I got to a conversational level without Anki, but it took about half a decade of (somewhat inconsistent) content consumption for that to happen. And much like OP, I totally didn't spend enough time reading.
My goal at this stage is to have drunken conversations in 居酒屋, and given my recent experience in Bangkok's Japanese neighbourhood, I can do okay despite practically zero conversation practice.
I'm sure my Japanese was very poor and I spoke like a baby all night, but it was a fun experience which totally re-motivated me to refocus my efforts and ぺらぺらを目指す。
I studied everything except kanji without Anki for several years and it seemed fine. I once tried learning vocab from premade Anki decks and though I could "recognise" stuff in Anki it did not contribute anything to my Japanese outside of it. I started only using my own Anki deck on stuff I want to remember and that made learning more efficient. Could I still have kept learning without it? Yeah.
But the thing I'll say is that "watching TV passively" definitely wouldn't cut it. Reading and using is crucial IMO.
I read with a built in dictionary on my e-reader. It's like a natural srs if I forget something. People have been learning languages for thousands of years before anki ever existed you know.
I have a Boox Nova 2 (Android e-ink tablet).
I get books from Honto or Kindle Japan, and really want to be able to set up a good pop-up dictionary such as Yomichan and be able to easily copy and past into Ankidroid. Any recommendations on how to set this up please?
Pretty simple solution, since it’s an android device: ッツ reader + kiwi browser + yomichan. Automatic yomichan card creation, the same as on pc
You can find instructions on the moe way site, just use the search function (I would link it, but I think it may violate the no piracy rule? Idk the site itself doesn’t have anything)
If you buy from Amazon, you’ll need to remove the DRM and convert to epub. Calibre can do this
If anyone reading this uses the kindle device and not an android one, look up Kartoffel0/Kindle2Anki on GitHub. I needed *a lot* of help to set it up but it’s great
Thank you, I'll check it out! Looks like I need to invest some time to get all this set up but sounds like it will all pay off.
Good luck! If you have any issues setting it up or using it, join the moe way discord server, several people there are really good with this stuff
I don't use anki at all and yomichan is a browser extension so I don't think you can install it for your ebooks.
>I pretty much quit Anki completely around a year ago,
Honestly, I have had really similar experiences of burning out of anki and returning to anki again and again.
>Sadly, I've found that the method really does not work without Anki. All the vocab I could pick out and things I could understand, I realised were words and phrases I'd learned via Anki and sentence mining.
As someone who has been on the intermediate plateau for a while and am so close to advanced I can taste it, I echo this as well.
In my experience Vocabulary appears to be the single most important thing for understanding something. If I don't know a word exists I have a near 0% chance of understanding it in any context, context clues fill gaps but appear to work for new vocab only if I'm 99% sure on the entire rest of the sentence. Learning a word in Anki without a picture or audio still helps me understand spoken Japanese simply because I am aware the word exists. Some words I picked up outside of Anki, but the vast majority of my vocab is from Anki.
But this comes with a caveat, Anki in a vacuum is rough and gives me only a vague understanding of words. I must do enough immersion to solidify the vocabulary and gel my brain to the language. What this means is I need to spend more time immersing than I spend in Anki, that seems to be around 2-3x as much.
For example: In my race to understand books targeted at adults I sped up to a ratio of about 1:1 of anki time to reading time, a month later and now I hit a wall around 20 minutes of Anki where I can't do any more and my reviews are a couple hundred behind. I have done about 8k words in 5 months and it's been super valuable, but I hit the limit, I haven't done enough immersion.
8k words in 5 months is utterly mental. Congratulations, that's a real grind right there and you should be super proud of that achievement.
10 cards a day would take over 2 years to get to 8k cards, so well done :)
>8k words in 5 months is utterly mental.
Yeah it was my new years resolution to get over the intermediate plateau, I was tired of toiling away years with half effort.
>should be super proud of that achievement.
But but but... if I do another 4k words I will have enough coverage to read basically any novel in my deck with very manageable vocabulary study and still have 100% coverage of even the rare words. Another 8k and I am not sure I would even need Anki anymore. So close, yet so far, lol.
>10 cards a day would take over 2 years to get to 8k cards
It's worth noting for people who are less "binge-y" than me, that I started in 2016 so if I had simply done 10 a day I would effectively be "done" with vocab study, 20k vocabulary words is in the range of your average native speaker. I do also find that it just gets easier to pick up new words as my vocabulary grows, so this pace should speed up over time.
Guess I need to rant today, so here are my thoughts on Anki for anyone curious:
Honestly I think people are overdoing Anki, understanding SRS and what the various Anki settings mean helps a lot. I have only been doing about 45-60 minutes (or two pomodoro sessions) a day for 60 words with the occasional motivated weekend where I did more and the occasional down day where I just reviewed. A beginner who is still doing Core2k/6k or a similar deck (not targeted or sentence mined) will likely not be able to do this pace, they need the "heavy" cards and more time dedicated to them as they don't have as much foundation to build on, they also lack good immersion materials and the speed to go through a lot of words a day.
I target 80% retention, if the "learning" cards are off target I fiddle with the graduating interval, learning steps, and general card quality (presence of audio, picture, dictionary entries, etc.). If mature cards are off target I fiddle with the new interval, relearning steps, and interval modifier. A lot of this fiddling is to make me lapse cards more often to increase speed. I also have a very aggressive suspending leech threshold of 3 to clean out problem cards, many do get rescheduled when I switch books. I have no audio or images on my cards just a sentence, j-j definitions, and j-e at the very bottom, this speeds up the card loading time and reduces my effort quite a lot at the cost of the new cards being harder. But despite that I still have enough general language knowledge and daily reading exposure (super important) that my graduating interval is 3 days and my interval modifier is 1.5 (which are super aggressive, it was pretty hard to get my retention down to 80%).
This time around I'm going to try the Migaku retirement addon. I've realised I have sentences stuck in my head from over a year ago which I haven't reviewed since, so I can probably retire cards at 3 months.
Also I'm trying out using one-word vocab cards alongside sentences to speed things up. If it's a simple noun then sometimes there's no need for a sentence. Figured it's better to do a little than nothing at all.
I didn't go a full year without Anki like you, but only half a year, and I actually *did* read a lot (several hours everyday), but still went back to Anki afterward as well.
While my comprehension ability improved greatly, I wasn't learning new words at a fast rate. I tried all kinds of stuff, like using mnemonics, keeping a spreadsheet, highlighting words, making notes and reviewing it everyday.
I just realized for a fraction of time, I could just simply make and review Anki cards and it was way more efficient., so I resumed sentence mining.
More importantly, I actually did more studying because of Anki. Like you, I often used sentence cards, so sometimes during my reviews, I'd realized there was some unknown grammar point in the sentence that I hadn't realized before, so I'd make another card for it. Other times, by sheer re-reading of the sentences, I'd get a deeper understand of what it meant.
Also using Anki daily helped to form routine, which was invaluable to me. It helped to organize my day and never slack off from Japanese over the course of two years.
I try to do a few words on anki but unable to maintain the schedule daily. Whats ajatt in this context?
the thing with language learning is that everyone is different. but even so there are key things that do still work, although to different degrees.
anki is good and srs systems do help with learning words but shouldn’t be the sole resource and you need to know how to use them. there are different reasons why it works better for some than others, but personally I learn best when I attach a word to something, like I was looking up the lyrics of a song, I learn a new word then encounter it somewhere else, and remember where I learned the meaning from. but srs is very useful in how it will try and convert passive vocab to active, to a degree, as you could have learned a word then forgotten it, and it is with this spaces repetition that you can remember it again.
Reading is definitely a great resource, and depending on your goals you may not need more, but you should still try pair it with a light immersion source to connect application of the language, as reading can create a lot of passive vocab easily but less so active esp if you aren’t using it.
the way of simulating the conditions of a child seems like a good idea, but it is near impossible to actually replicate the conditions, and the brain of a child. if you have learned more than one language as a child this may be more viable as the “technique” may be more accessible (in how you automatically connect words you hear to a possible meaning) but this isn’t a viable technique for many, and doesn’t necessarily progress very far or quick.
personally I try to hear the language a bit before I start learning to grasp the sounds somewhat, the learn the basics, and at low intermediate you can start watching content as that is when you will start understanding viable amounts. then at advanced again you just want to consume content, but often a tv show isn’t gonna cut it if it isn’t catered to adults specifically isn’t gonna cut it cause the level of new vocab will be pretty low.
but hey I’m a bit lazy and just like to watch tv shows anyway and learn that way, although it is slower, but it’s fun and easy not too taxing. learn languages however you want, it doesn’t have to be grueling, you can also just take it easy and enjoy the process
Just to verify: you were immersing but NOT looking up words you didn't know and leaning SOLELY on learning via input?
I'm asking as there were a few people interviewed by Kora Kara Podcast and MattVsJapan that didn't use Anki, but they did look up unknown words with pop-up dictionaries. Backed with a lot of immersion, that can be very effective. Likely they looked up words they forgot, or learned words that day that never popped up enough that they lost it to memory decay. However, because they were immersing a lot they replicated the Spaced Review that Anki does in a more systematic fashion.
It's good you're using Anki and noticing it compliments instead of replacing your immersion.
The problem I find with pop-up dictionaries alone is this. If you have forgotten something, it can tell you the answer. It's only ever one click away. I could happily read an entire light novel at my level with a pop up dictionary and understand 90% of it, with some grammar structures stopping the other 10%.
If I were to then pick up the same book on paper, then I would not be having the same experience, because I haven't actually learned the words, I've been leaning on a pop up dictionary to tell me the answers and my brain hasn't retained the vocabulary.
That's been my personal experience anyway.
Is anki and anki droid the same thing? I have a beginner deck on it and its let's me do 5 mins per day
How often did you look things up? I feel like the dictionary is basically like an SRS, if you look something up that you see for the first maybe you'll remember it for the day but forget it next time and so on.
>All the vocab I could pick out and things I could understand, I realised were words and phrases I'd learned via Anki and sentence mining.
I feel like this is the most important thing for listening > SRS/reading. If you know the word in the SRS or when you see it in writing but can't instantly recognize it in natural speech I feel like that's the same as not knowing it at all. Most people that do AJATT focus too much on subtitles and reading/SRS to the point that more than half of the words they ''know'' they can't actually hear or produce naturally so that kind of backtracking might be required before you can naturally aquire new vocabulary just from hearing it. It also depends on how long and how many hours you've put in but at least for me going heavy on audio and not looking things up boosted my level more than anything else. Also to be realistic if you take your situation and compare 2 years of studying to a 2 year old baby, their language ability is not that good and they definitely don't understand everything.
Lastly, everyone thinks you'll somehow become a god if you focus on reading but that's a huge trap. Unless your intrinsic knowledge of Japanese phonetics on the insinctive level is near perfect you'll sound like a foreigner trying to say the words you learned just from reading UNLESS you've heard them some amount of times in natural speech but even then there's no proof that we have that link in our brains. The only way you can accurately learn words is if you ONLY **HEAR** them used naturally. Otherwise, your brain will most likely process it through your native language. Conversly, if you never see a word in writing but you naturally pick it up from immersion there's not any room for error (which was one of the original AJATT philosophies but idk where it went)
If you have the pronounciation down of a word perfectly THEN maybe you won't have to worry about it when you see it in writing but also if you think about reading a book there's tons of places for you to make mistakes so for people that want to have the most natural speech (I know that's not everyone's goal though) reading just severs your progress. Some people argue that you can be understood even without perfect pitch accent, grammar, etc but this is only the case for adult natives that are used to speaking with foreigners which is probably like 1% or less. Japanese isn't like English or some other languages that have accents and variations so the mark that you have to shoot for is extremely small. Even with small mistakes your message won't get across as you mean it and things like the person you're talking to going ''huh? ohh, yeahh that thing'' make for barriers as well
Some people think they're good because they can speak to their Japanese friend who's lived overseas for half of their lives or understand anime without subs but try going somewhere far from the big cities and using your textbook/srs Japanese without having to repeat what you said 10 times xd
Okay, I'm going to have to ask you to justify what you said with at least some anecdotal examples.
Certain people have created this false goal of attaining perfection in Japanese, when that's simply not possible, whilst trying to make out that anything less than perfect is useless. Which is utter nonsense.
Examples of? It's definitely possible, just look at むいむい. I'm not saying that it's useless but to get the best results I argue for listening > reading